Monday, April 22, 2024

Lisa Frankenstein (2024)

Streaming Service: Peacock
Movie Name/Year: Lisa Frankenstein (2024)
Genre: Comedy, Horror, Romance
Length: 1h 41min
Rating: PG-13
Director: Zelda Williams
Writer: Diablo Cody
Actors: Kathryn Newton, Liza Soberano, Cole Sprouse, Carla Gugino, Joe Chrest, Jenna Davis, Trina LaFargue, Paola Andino, Joshua Montes, Chris Greening, Joey Harris, Henry Eikenberry, Jennifer Pierce Mathus, Jailyn Rae, Bryce Romero, Charlie Talbert, Ray Gaspard, Geraldine Singer, Destinie Jones, Johnny Ballance, Donna Duplantier, Sylvia Grace Crim, Walker Babington, Ritchie Montgomery
IMDb Blurb: A coming of RAGE love story about a teenager and her crush, who happens to be a corpse. After a set of horrific circumstances bring him back to life, the two embark on a journey to find love, happiness - and a few missing body parts.
Cat’s Point of View:
I was really sad that I didn't get a chance to go see Lisa Frankenstein on the big screen. I have been seriously excited to watch this movie ever since I saw the trailer for the first time. This film was absolutely up my alley – the '80s, the music of The Cure, and a variation on the Frankenstein's monster tale? Sold. Shut up and take my money – except, I just didn't have extra money, so alas.
You can imagine that I was doing mental cartwheels when Lisa Frankenstein became available to stream. It was, after all, my personal #4 pick as well as Selina's #3 pick within her February 2024 Top 20 article.
I sat down with my daughter, whom has long been a fan of Cole Sprouse (Five Feet Apart, Moonshot, Riverdale) dating back to his The Suite Life of Zack & Cody (2005-2008) days when she was little, and we had a blast watching Lisa Frankenstein together. She enjoyed it about as much as I did, even without catching all the little Easter eggs that had me giggling.
Though, there was one or more that had me getting a little misty-eyed as I prepped to write this article, as there were nods to the great Robin Williams (Patch Adams, Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire) hidden in plain sight. I hadn't immediately realized that this film's director Zelda Williams (Shrimp, Dark/Web, Kappa Kappa Die) is the daughter of one of the world's most beloved comedic actors. This is also her full-length feature directorial debut. She had such a deft touch in bringing this darkly funny romance to life.
I was also surprised to learn via some random trivia that writer Diablo Cody (United States of Tara, Ricki and the Flash, Tully) confirmed in Lisa Frankenstein premier interview with Deadline that this movie takes place within the same universe as her earlier work, Jennifer's Body (2009). I digress...
Sprouse wasn't the only notable cast member, of course. Joe Chrest (Oldboy, Stranger Things, Killers of the Flower Moon) and Carla Gugino (The Haunting of Hill House, Gunpowder Milkshake, The Fall of the House of Usher) were great choices for the parents of the titular Lisa and her sister Taffy, played by Liza Soberano (Everyday I Love You, Make it with You, Alone/Together). She also embodied her role very well and I had flashbacks to some of the more popular girls I knew during the timeframe of this movie.
Lisa's Kathryn Newton (Pokemon: Detective Pikachu, Big Little Lies, Freaky) was no one to sneeze at, either. I was riveted to her performance and felt for her in her unhinged story. In spite of everything that happened as the movie barreled along, I was still rooting for her to find some sort of happy outcome. I had to pause and question my own moral compass for a moment, all things considered, but am at peace with the fact that this was fantastical make-believe, after all.
The humor within Lisa Frankenstein was spot on and not too over-the-top. There were layers of topical points that would resonate with today while still remaining firmly rooted in the late 1980s setting. It certainly took me back to the era of big hair, Precious Moments figures, and house phones shaped like anything other than an actual phone. Kudos to the wardrobe and makeup departments here, too. I was really transported to that era between the performances and those extra little touches.
Lisa Frankenstein is billed as a horror movie, generally, before the rom-com elements; and I think that was probably not the best way to view this story. Sure, there are many horror elements here – the undead, bugs and creepy crawlies where they shouldn't be, gross bodily fluids, and oh the occasional axe-murder. Nothing was overtly graphic, however. There was blood splatter but never anything gory enough to compare to most single genre horror movies – much less other horror-comedies. The horror is more of a side-product of the story rather than its focus. I think critics that are disappointed with Lisa Frankenstein seem to not quite be able to get over that particular notion.
Lisa Frankenstein with its nostalgia and epic throwback soundtrack was meant to be a quirky comedic romance where the horror was something that had to be overcome, rather than the actual personal drive of the story.
I would gladly watch this film many times over and would recommend anyone even remotely interested in any of the genres touched on with Lisa Frankenstein should really just give it a chance.
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 51%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 81%
Metascore – 47%
Metacritic User Score – 5.1/10
IMDB Score – 6.1/10
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 5/5
Movie Trailer:

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